Film Screening: Afghan Muscles
February 6, 2013 6:00pm - 7:50pm
Following the 2001 United States-led invasion and the overthrow of the Taliban government, bodybuilding has enjoyed a renaissance in Afghanistan. The film follows the lives of two Afghan bodybuilding champions, Hamidullah Shirzai and Noorulhoda Shirzad, who are part of the national team training for the 2004 Mr. Asia competition in Bahrain. Although the men enjoy celebrity status in their country, their training is hampered by a lack of financial support, problems in gaining access to thebodybuilding supplements and professional guidance that would improve their competitive performances, and the ongoing military conflict across Afghanistan. Hamid also has the added burden of being nagged by his father to settle down and marry and by the abrupt withdrawal of support by a gym owner who once encouraged his progress. The Afghan national team arrives in Bahrain for the Mr. Asia event, but the more flamboyant competitors from other countries overshadow them.
- Catherine Baylin